◆We’re sad to report that local legend MIKE ‘TALAYNA’ FAILLE passed away last week, on Oct. 27, from complications arising from a heart attack. The 73-year-old was famous for his Talayna’s Italian Restaurant, which closed in the late 1990s, along with a string of other restaurant projects, and was just getting ready to open a new venture, the Frontenac Grill, in West County. His family has announced the restaurant will still open to honor his dream.
◆ The new L’Ecole Culinaire Academy for Culinary Development space is now open for business at 9200 Olive Blvd., Suite 108. The academy offers courses designed for the public, from amateur cooks to the pros, taught by L’Ecole chef instructors. The academy also offers classes for businesses and groups. Get all the details on the academy and its classes at lecoleacademy.com.
◆We reported recently on the opening of Crostini, a casual Italian eatery at 4501 Manchester Road in The Grove, in the space formerly home to Mia Rosa. After an extremely brief run, it’s been reported that the restaurant has closed. No one answers the phone, and when we went by during business hours, the doors were locked and the lights were out. More as we learn it. Also, looks like Seasons American Cuisine in Chesterfield has shuttered after less than a year. Chef/owner KEVIN SMITH has announced that he’s taken the executive chef position at Meramec Bluffs retirement community in Ballwin.
◆LAUREN DAY and her BLTT sandwich, a bacon, lettuce and tomato with a modern twist, won the grand prize in the Saint Louis Bread Co. Sandwich Showdown on Oct. 26. She took home $2,500 and a year’s supply of bagels, and her sandwich will be featured on Bread Co. cafe menus starting in January. A portion of the proceeds of sales of the sandwich will go to St. Louis Children’s Hospital. We’re told the contest was so successful, it’ll go national next year.
◆ Demun Oyster Bar has shifted to winter hours. The restaurant is now open daily for dinner at 4 p.m., seven days a week, and lunch at 11 a.m. only on Saturdays.
◆ Zia’s On The Hill has joined in the local food truck movement. The restaurant recently rolled out its own four-wheeled eatery, which can be tracked at Zia’s Facebook page, facebook.com/pages/zias-on-the-hill.
◆It’s almost time for the Holiday Fare Wine Trail. The event, along the Hermann Wine Trail, takes place Nov. 19 and 20, and will feature a tasting menu with food and wines from Adam Puchta, Bias, Dierberg Star Lane, Hermannhof, OakGlenn, Robller and Stone Hill wineries. Call 800-932-8687 or go online at VisitHermann.com for ticket information.